Victims Commissioner new report
Criminal justice agencies are at risk of failing children and young people who come forward to report crimes because they are not being taken seriously, Victims’ Commissioner has today warned.
Publishing her review into the treatment of children and young victims of crime by criminal justice agencies, the Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Newlove was disgusted to discover that these victims were made to feel like criminals, were accused of wasting the police’s time or simply not believed when reporting a crime against them.
The ‘Are We Getting it Right for Young Victims of Crime?’ review interviewed young victims of a violent or sexual offence to find out whether they were receiving their entitlements as set out in the Victims’ Code. The review found:
- victims felt that they were not taken seriously, and some felt this was because of their age;
- many of the young victims felt that they were not believed by the police, social workers, teachers or by society as a whole;
- many victims were frustrated at the lack of information about the progress in their case; and,
- some victims had lost faith in the criminal justice system as a result of their treatment and the lack of a conviction.
Baroness Newlove said: “These children and young victims feel let down by the system that is meant to protect them. It is time attitudes towards them were changed. I want to see agencies working together to make sure young and vulnerable victims feel supported through the criminal justice process. They deserve to be taken seriously, for their allegations to be thoroughly investigated and to be treated with dignity and respect.